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SUNRISE TRACK: Diminutive James wins two sprints

Las Vegas High’s Tre James won’t strike fear into any of his opponents with his 5-foot-6-inch frame.

But the way James’ senior season has gone he doesn’t need to.

“They really just talk about my headband,” James said. “That’s about it. Because I’m usually the only kid who wears a headband on the track. My dad used to wear one in college, so that’s why (I do). I just wanted to keep it going in the family.”

Sporting a thick white Under Armour headband, the diminutive James won a pair of region titles in sprint events Saturday in the Division I Sunrise Region meet at Del Sol.

James took first in the 100-meter dash in 10.69 seconds and won the 200 in 21.66. He also ran a leg on two state-qualifying relay teams, as the Wildcats finished second in the 400 relay and third in the 800 relay.

“I like to think of my heart over height,” James said. “So that’s been a motto for me to keep pushing.”

James, who has committed to Southern Utah, posted the best times of either region in the 100 and 200. But he still feels there’s room for improvement going into next week’s state meet.

“My starts were good today, but the wind was hitting,” James said. “I just need to work on my finish a little bit. … At state, I have to use my confidence and turnover, and hopefully I can win.”

Silverado, which won three of the four relays, won its first region boys title since 2011 with 166 points. Liberty finished second with 118, and was followed by Green Valley (101), Basic (74) and Coronado (64).

Silverado’s Zakee Washington, the top-ranked boys 400 runner in the state, comfortably won the 400 (47.99) by more than two seconds for the Skyhawks. Washington also ran on the winning 800 relay team and was second to James in the 200.

For the second consecutive week, Liberty had the top three finishers in a throwing event.

Nick Tapuala, who finished second in the discus last Saturday, won the shot put with an effort of 53 feet, 3½ inches.

David Washington was one of Liberty’s top track athletes. The junior swept the hurdles, winning the 110 high hurdles in 14.96 and the 300 low hurdles in 40.21. He also ran the anchor leg on the second-place 1,600 relay team that qualified for state.

“The day went pretty smooth,” Washington said. “I got the fastest time overall for the 110s (hurdles), but I didn’t hit my (personal record). I’m just going to use this as confidence going into state.”

On the girl’s side, Green Valley won its second consecutive region title. The Gators finished with 138 points, 11 points ahead of second-place Coronado. Liberty was third with 86, and Silverado (62) and Rancho (58) rounded out the top five.

Green Valley’s Charleen Jordan set a meet record in the 100 hurdles (14.5) and won the 300 hurdles in 46.20. She also placed third in the 100 for the Gators.

Freshman teammate Deborah Grant was first in the 100 in 12.56, just ahead of Las Vegas’ Teleda Williams (12.64).

Williams won the 200 in 24.96 with Grant (25.03) finishing second.

“It feels amazing,” Grant said. “As a freshman, I’m running senior times. But I still have stuff to work on. … I had big expectations going in here. I’m just glad I (got a personal record).”

Coronado’s Linnea Saltz and Silverado’s Micayla Kelley each broke a meet record in their individual event.

Saltz was first in the 400 in 55.96, and Kelley won the long jump with a mark of 18-5¾.

The state meet begins Friday at Carson High in Carson City.

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson

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